GOLDEN, Colo. (CBS4) – Everybody is in a hurry these days, especially in the NFL, where it seems like most teams are running the hurry-up offense. Nobody runs it faster than the New England Patriots. But if you think that’s fast, check out the Colorado School of Mines. They put some gitty-up in the hurry-up.
The pace is so fast that it’s easy to feel sorry for the opposing defense.
“It gets them pretty tired. I’m tired, so I know they have to be tired. At least I hope so,” wide receiver Cody Renken said.
It’s like speed dating on a football field.
“We’ll probably run a play, probably round 15 to 20 seconds after the play ends,” Mines quarterback Matt Browne said.
Every player is perfectly synchronized.
Tom Brady is pretty special. Last week in New England the Patriots ran an astonishing 89 plays in the game. But that’s child’s play for the School of Mines — they are engineers and average over 90 plays a game. They even topped 100 twice this season so far.
“We’re 20 plays, on average, over what we were last year,” head coach Bob Stitt said. “In some games we’re 30, 31. That’s almost a half a football game more that they’re having to defend.”
The idea is the more possessions, the more opportunities to score.
The typical offense runs about 65 plays a game, which is why more coaches are suddenly embracing the need for speed.
“Oregon is doing it, and they’re doing it with one word,” Stitt said. “They say one word and everybody knows exactly what they’re supposed to be doing.”
The School of Mines is doing it without words. Stitt has invented his very own sign language to call plays.
“They’ve got to find me right away and make sure they’re getting the whole thing, because I’m going to throw some dummy signals in there also,” he said.
He signals in the play to all of the skill players, including the quarterback.
“We run up to the line of scrimmage and look to the sideline for the play, and then I’ll relay the play to the o-line,” Browne said.
The center sends instructions to the other linemen.
“Matt calls out a couple of numbers and we’re ready to go,” Renken said.
Renken says instead of a snap count, the wide receivers just watch the ball. It’s the center, not the quarterback, who tells them when to go.
“When the quarterback is in charge of the cadence, sometimes we’d snap it before the o-line is ready,” Stitt said. “The center is not snapping it until he’s ready, and so we’ve had better communication with the o-line.”
But for Stitt, fast is never quite fast enough.